Brendan (1987)

Winner of the Christianity and Literature Book Award
for Belles-Lettres, 1987

Book Description

Re-envisioning the inspiration for one of the most popular and enduring medieval legends, Frederick Buechner tells the tale of the colorful sixth-century Irish saint, Brendan of Clonfert, through the eyes of his loyal friend and follower, Finn. This animated account of Brendan's journey chronicles the Celtic world of fifteen hundred years ago and contains all the complex moral messages that abound in the best mythology.

“Thematically speaking, much of the masterfulness of Brendan has its source in Buechner's imagining the resounding clash between paganism and Christianity in the youthful days of the Christian faith in Ireland... yet, with the several explorations into new territories, essential Buechnerian themes such as the mixture of false and true and the possibility of God's involvement in the human experience remain in Brendan.”
— W. Dale Brown, The Book of Buechner


“Ribald humor, piercing sorrows, and miraculous moments join seamlessly in Buechner’s literary feast.”
Publishers Weekly

“Strikingly convincing...sinewy and lyrical.”
The New York Times Book Review

“A grand, gaudy tale.”
The Atlantic

“Exuberant…proves the power of faith to lift us up, to hold us straight, to send us on again.”
The Washington Post Book World

“[A] lusty, bawdy, teeming, festooning, dancing marvel of a book. Within its crafty interlacings, we can read its buoyant meaning: that life, for all its woes, is essentially a comedy.”
The Los Angeles Times Book Review